JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has upheld a landmark 2017 ruling that all plantation data and maps in the country must be made publicly available — a ruling that the government continues to defy. The decision, which rejects the government’s appeal against the earlier verdict, marks the latest development in a long-running fight by civil society groups trying to bring greater transparency to the country’s palm oil industry, which has been plagued with irregularities and land conflicts due to lack of transparency. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, but the industry has long been plagued by environmental violations and land conflicts, in part due to the opacity under which it operates. The government has repeatedly refused to make public plantation data and maps, known as HGUs, citing various reasons, from intellectual property rights to national security. This has cast doubt on its commitment to improving the sustainability and transparency of the palm oil industry. The latest verdict, from the State Administrative Court, means the government has exhausted all its avenues of appeal in this legal saga that began in 2015. Essentially, there’s no more reason for the government, in this case the land ministry, to continue withholding the HGU documents, says Agung Ady Setyawan, a campaigner with Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), the NGO that first took the case to court six years ago. “The HGU documents should have been made publicly available by now because from the early legal process, all the way to the final appeal,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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